Evolution: Topless Blocks

Marcus Irwin
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics

WARNING: Gushing may ensue in this review, so if you have an aversion to these types of reviews, beware! (smile)

I started out as a cardio klutz who never wanted to try anything dancey. Then, I discovered Kari Anderson and her Danceworks and Body Tech workouts. These workouts transitioned me from athletic workouts to more dancey ones. Then, I discovered the Cardio Cross Trainers in the check-in area and they encouraged me to try Christi Taylor, Marcus Irwin, Andre Houle, etc. In each of these cases, I had to work hard at learning the choreography of these workouts. Stereotypically, I would do a regular workout and then tack on one of these workouts until I had learned enough to do that workout on its own. As time has gone one, it has become easier and easier for me to learn dancey choreography.

Recently, I discovered Marcus Irwin and did his Step XPress and Xtra Flow Hi/Lo workouts and had such a blast that Iím trying some of his other workouts on a loan from someone. When I decide which ones to purchase, Iíll probably buy them from newideafitness.com.

So, I received a loan of Topless Blocks and had such a total and complete blast doing it! In fact, I was able to do the entire workout the first time, although I probably missed a few details in the hi/lo section which I will get the next time or two. It is a workout with Marcus Irwin and two background exercisers in two sections Ė 45 minutes of step and 45 minutes of hi/lo. This workout does include a warm up and cool down. The reason it is called Topless Blocks is that he does a block of choreography and doesnít return to it except in a few cases where he does one block, the next block and then shows how to combine them.

He seemingly takes complex choreography and builds it in a manner that makes it completely doable and fun. He also has a great sense of humor and I find myself chuckling at what he says throughout the workout. I had no problem with space; you do need a few feet side to side and front to back, but I didnít think it was too much of a space hog.

The set is really dark. In one place he jokes that if they go too far back, they will disappear into the black abyss. I donít really care too much about details like that and I enjoyed the workout so much it didnít really matter, but I would have chosen another less dark, less industrial looking set. The music was good, but it sounded familiar, like it was the same as in another workout.

In case you canít tell, I really, really like this workout. I anticipate getting my own copy.

Instructor Comments:
He is a master at taking complex choreography and making it doable and FUN. He does so with such good humor and good cueing that it's hard to resist.

Laura S.